Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Putting the Feedback to Work (Real People Study, Part 3)

More on changes due to feedback...

"This is the third in a series of entries where I will share with you some of the lessons we learned by following a group of typical Office users for eight months while they used Office 2007 Beta 1 to perform their everyday work.

Last time, I discussed how exciting and encouraging it was to verify for the first time with users outside of Microsoft that they could quickly learn how to use Office 2007 to do their own work with virtually no training. Today I would like to share with you an anecdote that demonstrates how feedback obtained from participants using Office 2007 Beta 1 for an extended period of time was used to improve the product before Beta 2 was released to the public.

Those who frequently read Jensen’s blog will likely agree that designing the user interface for an application like Office can be tricky. Often, our most difficult design decisions involve how to make features both discoverable and efficient to use. Just imagine how annoying it would if every time you clicked on the Print icon a little balloon pop-up saying, “Did you know that you can use the print settings dialog to change from single-sided printing to double-sided printing!” I am sure that many people would find this unacceptable, but it would certainly score highly on the discoverability scale.

As designs that optimize for efficiency sometimes require a bit of learning, we were not only required to evaluate if new features in the Office 2007 UI were discoverable, but also if they were learnable. To effectively answer this question, long-term observation of participants using Office 2007 Beta 1 was required.

A prime example of behavior that required learning in involved locating the View commands. In Beta 1, the View Menu was located on the status bar in the bottom-right corner of the screen."   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

Responses to feedback - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Responses to feedback


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